Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Have To's

What do you want out of life? Do you have a plan? Do you keep the final goal in mind with every decision you make? I do, I have a plan, a vision, promises of where my life is going. I haven't necessarily written everything down on paper (although some things have been written down for me) but it is written on the pages of my heart and in the forefront of my mind with every decision I make. I do, however, find myself wondering if anyone else understands the dilemma involved in having a bright future planned out... It is wonderful, knowing what to do with your life, but knowing alone doesn't necessarily make the process easy nor help you with which decisions will help or hinder the result. There are some (if not all) decisions that "have to" be made with the end result in mind... Sometimes I don't think it's fair that I have to always be thinking about my future and what one bad decision would cost me... Sometimes I don't get what I think I want because I know it's not what is best... Sometimes I make decisions that effect other people in my life and they rarely understand me. Most times I don't allow my heart to lead and in a world that is all about "follow your heart" who could understand that? Making the hard decisions to get me to my goals has caused me pain, frustration, loss of friendship and countless sleepless nights but how can I turn my back on my destiny; and if I could, where would I go from there? So far, after all the dust is settled and my life seems to be clear of all the distractions around, I have no regrets. There are things I have given up because I knew they weren't "right" for me. Things that appeared to be "right" from all vantage points I have thrown away because I couldn't make myself feel peace with allowing them into my life. Relationships with people have been ended because eventually if your paths are going in opposite directions it's hard to understand what the other person is saying or whether they are standing beside you, supporting you. There are some parts of me wishing I could let go of my future for some people or opportunities in my present... If I could have my cake and eat it too I totally would and so would you so don't furrow your brow in disapproval :o). There are some people, and relationships with those people, I will always think about and miss, even try to hold on to pieces of what once was or might have been. I cry for the ones I have hurt, who don't and are not expected to understand why I say "no" to an authentic, heart-felt offer when I so obviously desire to just go with the flow and wish I didn't "have to" (and if you're reading this and I've hurt you, I'm sorry and I haven't forgotten the gift of friendship you gave me, nor have I thrown it away). But maybe that's the confusing part, the "have to." After all, how can it be a "have to" decision when the offer is right in front of you and all that's really required to possess it is that you accept? There is no "have to" when it comes to turning away a gift, is there? In my world, no matter what internal conflict I may be facing, there is definitely a "have to" decision to be made at any moment... Because I "have to" go where God has promised I could... I have to because my greatest desire is to go wherever he wants me to be.. I know he has "good plans for me, to prosper and not to harm me" and I want those plans to be fulfilled in my life... It's not that I don't desire other things as well, it's that if there is a conflict between the two desires, the greater (God's plan) must always win out, and if there is a question of something getting in the way of those plans I would rather play it safe until I have a definitive answer. I realize that everyone reading this will either be in the "have to" category or be effected by someone who is. (Interjection: We are all "have to's", if you don't think you are just think about where your life is an how it got there... Either you're in a good place and on track to your goals or you're off track because you have somewhere along the way refused to make the hard decisions to get you there... Good news, if you are of the second category, it's never too late to make the right decisions and I'm sure you already know a couple that could help if you weren't procrastinating... Often we know how to get ourselves out of a mess but we choose not to because it's an uncomfortable process. Wow, I sound like a therapist sometimes, ew!) I know that when you are on the receiving end of a "have to" decision (which we all, including myself, have been) it's never easy to understand the reasoning but I hope some of the words in this blog make enough sense to help you at least to understand that sometimes it's really not as much about you as it is the other person's life direction ("It's not you, it's me" actually does apply in some cases ha!). No matter how we try to convince ourselves "the little decisions don't matter, they can't possibly change that much", "what's a little break from reality?", "do what you want right now and worry about the consequences later" and "whatever will be, will be... If it's meant to be, it will happen" we can't forget our future and we have to make even the awkward, hard and sometimes contrary decisions to get us there. For the "Have to's" reading this, please find encouragement that although for some reason it seems we are alone in the rough decisions to our long term goals, we are not. I get it, I despise the process with the best of them at times, but I can honestly say that with every step (even the backward ones) I'm closer to my goal now than when I first decided to do whatever it took to get there and that somehow makes all the junk we have to wade through worth every single moment!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank you for bein' a friend! (yes that is a Golden Girls song quote! ha!)

"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow" - William Shakespeare
"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." - Aristotle
"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. " - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed ~ That can make life a garden." - Goethe
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." - Unknown
What is it that creates an immediate "connection"? How can you explain how you feel as if you have known someone your whole life when in reality you've only just met? If it's not your life stories aligning, how is it that you just "get" one another, hoe the other feels in any given situation, understanding the predicament someone is in without having an verbal run down on the background and surrounding circumstance? How is it you can say anything and it's taken in the right way (unless they want to string you along for a bit about it being taken the wrong way before breaking out into laughter in a "gotcha" sort of way)? How, even when you, like me, are a person who never trusts without much thought, testing and proving of the other person's loyalty, time as well as effort so you almost immediately have a bond of trust with this person who, for all intensive purposes you barely know? How do you let go of all the apprehension and break through all your protective walls and be vulnerable enough to speak honestly about your own being and uncover your heart, thoughts and wounds for them to see based on a feeling of "connection"!!?? And how does this "connection" make it past all the junk in our minds and hearts to create a seemingly instant friendship?
We always hear about "love at first sight" and "soul mates"... Being a sappy romantic I lap all of these ideals up like a dehydrated kitten. I have yet to experience someone falling in love with me at first sight... Any claim to fame on that point has long ago been disproved (funny and sad at the same time ha). No "soul mate" that I can see to speak of on the horizon at this point.. Sometimes I'm lonely (and writing this paragraph I am almost there lol), I wonder if I'm ever going to find my prince charming or if I have already passed him by and been too stubborn to take notice (great I sound like a Disney Princess in the beginning of her movie ha!).. At times I think no one can possibly care enough about me to take the time to understand my situation or give me a shoulder, hand or listening ear when I hurt.. Most times I'm not so sure I would trust enough to spill anyway. But, all of a sudden I think I've been missing it... I have experienced the "soul mate" it just didn't come in the packaging I thought I had ordered.
I met a "new friend" this year, have known the person for years through other people and in group settings but somehow had never actually had even one conversation... Immediately after our first conversation this year however, I realized there was this strange feeling we were just picking up where we left of, as if we had been conversing all of our lives. I can say anything and be myself in ways I forgot I could, or just be quiet and comfortable in silence. I already feel the need to fix anything I perceive as being bothersome to my friend, I feel pain when it reflects in their eyes either by word or by memory, I want to "take care of it" when the, what I call, stupid people in the world don't know enough to hush and spare someone else's feelings (although I usually take care of my friend instead of wasting my breath trying to make the other person see their own... we'll leave that one there ha!)... Already, they've somehow crossed all the fences and been exempt from the testing and got the certificate for entrance into my heart.
While preparing to write this I found a quote that read something like 'friendship happens when one soul dwells in two bodies' although I'm not sure of the measure of truth in the statement I do agree with it's sentiment... It seems to explain the instant connection you can have with someone when least expected.
They say (whoever they are) people come into your life for a season to help you, grow you, polish you, teach you etc... Maybe that's why we have the immediate connections, whatever it is, I love it! When that feeling comes along whether it's me being the helper or you it makes my life a little brighter.. So to those of you I have the "connection" with, I thank you! Thank you for making me realize that I do have a reason to smile instead of cry, for making me know I am not alone even when I feel lonely and even though my "love boat" seems to be fetched-up on a sandbar somewhere in the middle of the ocean I have met a soul mate already. Love you much and when you're having a "tears on the pillow at night moment" think of me and know I BELIEVE IN YOU and our connection is never faded in my eyes.
Love, Suzie
PS, you could insert yourself in this picture with me :o)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going Through The Change!!!

"It's my life!!!" -Bon Jovi. "Have it your way!" - Burger King. "I did it my way" - Frank Sinatra. "Baby you could have whatever you like, I said, you could have whatever you like" - TI. "I am beautiful, in every single way and words won't bring me down" Christina Agulira. So while every message is "if you're not hurting anyone go for it, it's your life, you don't have to please anyone else" is change still necessary? Can we really just do whatever we like, say every word that crosses our mind and follow what seems good to us? Are there guidelines for what is acceptable or is it just whatever you think is cool? Obviously, there are guidelines and change is necessary. For an example: when a child bites his or her friend because they want to play with a toy the other child is holding; the parents explain it's not acceptable behavior and correct the childs path.. So then what age do we stop being willing to change? I have heard a lot of people, myself included, say "I want to be better but I don't know how to change" or "well, I'm not changing if he/she doesn't change!!".. As I get older I actually take pride in changing myself (somehow I feel it makes me, in some ways at least, better than the other person I think needs to change as well but is unwilling). There comes a curious satisfaction from realizing that even when you aren't who you want to be quite yet, you are in the process. I've also had to be honest with myself and admit it's not that I don't know how to change, it's that I don't want to deal with the process of change.. Partially because we are taught to be confident and somehow admitting we aren't perfect and we need to change has become weak in most eyes. We need to realize that, in truth, seeing your own flaws and working on them actually proves courage and confidence. Confidence is not putting on a mask of perfection, it's being authentic and real or true to who you are and who you are not. Sometimes the things I know how to change seem too large to tackle so I push the thought away and procrastinate myself away from turning into the woman I should be. But that's just being lazy and complacent. I may have stated this before; one piece of advice I hated to hear throught life but has been proved most true is "If you want to, just make up your mind and do it." That saying has applied to so much of my life and it applies in the changing process. Just make up your mind and do it, change what you see in yourself that if you were looking at another you would not like to see. Another thought that stops or slows changing is when the issue seems insignificant. "Does that really matter?" "If I don't change this one thing can that really be a huge deal with where I'm going?" Thing is, if the big issues are not tackled because they are too large and seemingly insignificant things are not worked on because they are too small, change will not happen with any aspect. The fix: look at the small changes as being one part of a bigger issue, once you are looking back (hind sight is 20/20) you will see all the little things adding up to a huge underlying issue that had you seen then you probably wouldn't have worked on at all.. Maybe no one will notice all the small things I am working on (and come on, be honest, we all like a little recognition from someone) but I will, and I can be proud of changing what I don't like about myself. (As an aside, don't get frustrated with the process, changing doesn't happen overnight and you will make mistakes, that doesn't mean you aren't able to change or it's not worth the work, it means you're human! If you're working on your temper and you call someone down just recognize the mistake and continue to move forward, next time you might remember the mistake and stop short of the yelling or sarcastic comments with their cutting sting.) I'm not sure why I wrote this one, other than to challenge you to change with me! Don't be lazy or complacent, don't let the big issues scare you, just get started! Next year at this time you will barely recognize the person you are right now, you will be thousands of small changes closer to who you are meant to be. I know you are thinking of something you could change by now, that's exactly what you should start with.. The Bible says "to him that knows to do good and does it not, to him, it is sin." and whether you believe the Bible or not, you know the good thing you can do for a change in your life; if you don't do it now you then have to choose to not to change, not to go after who you dream of being.. Every time that part of you shows in the mirror of who you are preceved to be you have to again choose to ignore and procrastinate the change, good luck with that. Or, you could just start now (PS. the second option is the better of the two, incase you are having a hard time figuring that out :o))